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Best of Floyd Tillman
Floyd Tillman
Best of Floyd Tillman
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
  •  Track Listings (24) - Disc #1

Amazingly, there are "comprehensive" country music references that somehow ignore one of honky-tonk's great pioneers, Oklahoma-born Floyd Tillman. Tillman's 1930s Decca recordings were wonderful examples of vibrant Western...  more »


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CD Details

All Artists: Floyd Tillman
Title: Best of Floyd Tillman
Members Wishing: 2
Total Copies: 0
Label: Collector's Choice
Original Release Date: 4/20/1999
Release Date: 4/20/1999
Genres: Country, Pop, Rock
Styles: Roadhouse Country, Classic Country
Number of Discs: 1
SwapaCD Credits: 1
UPC: 617742006827

Amazingly, there are "comprehensive" country music references that somehow ignore one of honky-tonk's great pioneers, Oklahoma-born Floyd Tillman. Tillman's 1930s Decca recordings were wonderful examples of vibrant Western swing, but his greatest commercial triumphs came after he signed with Columbia in 1946. This superb 24-song collection focuses on his benchmark Columbia work, which retained the loose feel of his swing sides while morphing into an earthier honky-tonk style that was fused with a pop crooner's sensibility. Tillman's vocal style has been a major influence on many important country singers: his leisurely, relaxed phrasing paved the way for folks like Willie Nelson and his agile, swooping note bends can surely be heard in the work of Lefty Frizzell. What's more, Tillman owns a number of significant songwriting credits, including country cornerstones such as the beautiful "I Love You So Much It Hurts" and "Slipping Around," which is generally thought to be the genre's first cheatin' song. His baritone voice was gruff in nature, yet Tillman instilled it with an odd sort of gracefulness that allowed him to be quite a moving ballad singer. --Marc Greilsamer

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CD Reviews

Floyd's Songs in Floyd's voice
Tony Thomas | SUNNY ISLES BEACH, FL USA | 01/16/2004
(5 out of 5 stars)

"Floyd's music is a unqiue thing. It isn't just the songs, it's the singer writer immediacy of his rendations of his songs that makes all these songs his own forever which is why you must make this CD yours too.I think a lot of attention belongs on the great songs that Floyd wrote that became Honky Tonk Standards in the 1940s and 1950s and most were still around in the music in the 60s, 70s, and 80s. In fact, with a fairly decent collection of Western Swing or Country records, particularly by stars who understand Floyd's importance like Willie Nelson, Mr. Haggard, Hank Thompson, and Ray Price you might have most or even all of these songs and think you don't need this. Floyd was one of the most interesting singers I have ever heard. He has a certain lisp like way of slowing down the words and suggesting and sustaining them in a style that I think is really unique. There is something about the way he sings his songs that transforms them into a personal statement of his own, even if you have heard them a 1000 times by someone else who is formally a great singer that you love like Willie or Haggard. I can't forget a tape of demos he made in the 1980s that was so interesting or his appearance on the stage at Austin City Limits (because if you know what Floyd looked like, you might notice him out sitting up front in a number of their shows). There are still songs so electric and right that he did that I perform them straight from those performances without having to find the words and music. Beyond that, this is the real thing. This was Honky Tonk music before it had a name. This comes out of a different place than the prewar nashville music. This comes of the explosion of Western Swing during the war and after. Money in pockets, jobs, and no more dust bowl. None of that Southern Baptist dry state BS, from Texas to California, even in old dry Oklahoma, the wine and liquor flow, the gals have money in their pockets from being Rosie the riverter and can dump their man, and lure another out at the bar, and everybody is thrown together into new cities like LA, Houston, Dallas, Tulsa and OK City, and this is the music that comes out, from one of its greatest writers and artists."
Not Quite Comprehensive
Tony Thomas | 08/13/2007
(3 out of 5 stars)

"n the notation above Mark Greilsamer says there are Country music publications which describe themselves as "comprehensive" but which do not even acknowledge Floyd Tillman.

Well, there are also CD compilations claiming to present the best of an artist, but which do not quite deliver. This is one of them. The sound quality is excellent, which is par for the course when it comes to Collector's Choice, but in a 24-track CD for a singer with but 10 hits to his credit from 1944 to 1960, why would they leave out three, including his ONLY # 1? Sorry, but you can't have a "best of" album without an artist's best hit ever!

They should also have found room for one of his first compositions, which became a best-seller for Dickie McBride in 1939, the now-classic It Makes No Difference Now, which he himself recorded that year after securing that contract with Decca.

With the advent of Billboard's Country singles charts in 1944, his first Decca success was They Took The Stars Out Of Heaven, # 1 that February b/w Why Do You Treat Me This Way? (neither here). Later that year Each Night At Nine was released and it rose to # 4 early in 1945, but while that Decca side IS included, they also omit the flipside, G.I. Blues, which charted at # 5! Starting to see a pattern here?

All the above hits were billed to Floyd Tillman and His Favorite Playboys, but after he moved over to Columbia in 1946 all releases were shown as simply Floyd Tillman. All six hits with that label are here, along with four of the B-sides, beginning with Drivin' Nails In My Coffin, a # 2 in September 1946 b/w Some Other World.

A full year would then pass before his next hit - and my particular Tillman favourite - I Love You So Much, It Hurts. That rose to # 5 in late summer 1948 b/w I'll Take What I Can Get. Early in 1949 Please Don't Pass Me By peaked at # 14 b/w Cold Cold Woman [omitted here], followed six months later by Slipping Around. Backed with You Made Me Live, Love And Die, it reached # 5, outpaced by both the Ernest Tubb and Margaret Whiting/Jimmy Wakely covers, both of which made # 1.

At the end of that year the follow-up I'll Never Slip Around Again went to # 6 b/w This Cold War With You, but once again he was beaten out by the Margaret Whiting/Jimmy Wakely cover which reached # 2. His final Columbia hit then came early in 1950 when I Gotta Have My Baby Back hit the # 4 slot b/w It Had To Be That Way.

In early 1961 Floyd made one last visit to the Country charts for the Liberty label when It Just Tears Me Up peaked at # 29 b/w The Song Of Music. Neither of those sides is included here either. He passed away at age 89 on August 22, 2003.

One publication that DOES give prominence to Floyd Tillman's career is Barry McCloud's Definitive Country, and in that volume Floyd's style is described by historian Bill Malone as "a lazy, drawling baritone ... replete with peculiar swoops and note bendings that was too irresistibly appealing to avoid imitation." Jimmy Wakely certainly made a career out of copying it.

Seems to me that, if you are going to honour a Hall of Famer - he was inducted in 1984 along with Ralph Peer [it's interesting to note that Jimmy Wakely has yet to be inducted] - then you should go out of your way to include all his hits, especially his only # 1.
Gone but not forgotten!
Walter Stettner | Vienna Austria | 09/13/2003
(5 out of 5 stars)

"It was sad to hear that Floyd Tillman passed away just recently in August of 2003 at age 89. He was one of the legendary songwriters in Country Music, from "Slipping Around" to "I Love You So Much It Hurts Me". This compilation should be in every serious Country Music Collection. Ol' Flyod for sure was not the greatest vocalist in the world, but it is always good to have those great songs in the original version of the person who wrote them. The CD is well-done, with extensive information regarding the career of Floyd Tillman, one more reason to add this to your collection."